Due to severe weather warnings our first session took place in the classroom rather than up on Dolbury Hill. We began by hearing the story of Noni the Blacksmith which is a short story by project leader Catherine Farnell. In the story we learn how all kinds of metal objects are made through building a furnace out of clay, making a fire from wood, and heating iron ore until it is ready for the hammer. A map in the book shows the geography surrounding a hillfort, as well as the journey that one would take in order to collect the precious resources of clay, wood and iron ore.
After creating a human timeline to place the Iron Age in history, the class split into three carousel groups with one group making and decorating paper weapons, another group contrasting life in the Iron Age and life today, and the third group learning a song which tells the story of Noni the Blacksmith. Learning by rote would have been very important in the Iron Age as a way of communicating stories and information and in our plenary session the whole class sang Noni’s story together. Next week, weather permitting, we will be up on the Clump to investigate Dolbury Hillfort for ourselves.